By Carl Jackson 10/05 Updated: 16/05 14:30
PLANNING permission to build a cemetery next to Waseley Hills could lead to more development, both near and on the country park itself, a councillor has claimed.
Although no official application has been put forward to Bromsgrove District Council so far, residents were invited to a consultation on proposals for land on Gannow Green Lane, two fields away from the Waseley Hills.
But Coun Peter McDonald said he felt, if the cemetery was given the go ahead, other developers would ‘try their arm’, which could lead to more development in the area.
And he said, at the recent exhibition of proposals, residents had voiced their opposition to the idea.
“Such a move would open the floodgates and we won’t be able to stop the onslaught.
“To allow any development [on Waseley Hills] would be an act of vandalism.
“The park recieves more than a million visitors a year and we are fortunate to have such an area of outstanding beauty on our doorstep, creating a clear border between Worcestershire and Birmingham.
“Once it is gone - it is gone forever.”
Resident Pete Strain, 62, of New Inns Lane, Rubery, expressed concerns about increased traffic.
“People aleady use our road as a rat-run to beat the buses.
“They will only do the same to beat hearses.
“Why do we need it? There is a cemetery in Catshill, Bromsgrove, and Wythall. Leave the fields as they are.
“The next development will be a crematorium.”
But H2Land - behind the proposal - believes residents both Bromsgrove and Birmingham residents would benefit from the cemetery.
Mark Donald, from H2Land, said there were a lack of burial spaces in the area.
“Currently residents of each local authority suffer significant financial penalties if they choose to be buried out of their own
residential district - this won’t apply here.”
“The scheme will offer inspired choices for internment arrangements, such as woodland burial as well as more formally laid out areas, with the surroundings of the Waseley Hills as a backdrop.”
And he added he was sure the plans would do nothing to undermine the planning policies already in place to prevent inappropriate development. He said the company was aiming to preserve the green space and prevent any future development on the site in the future.
On the consultation, he said around 60 to 70 people attended.
“A substantial number thought the scheme was very appropriate and welcomed the use of the land for such a scheme, rather than anything detrimental.
“Certainly some residents would rather nothing changed and a few were quite concerned about seeing the funeral corteges daily along the road.
“Several constructive suggestions that were put forward are now being included in our proposals now,” he added.
An official application is expected to be submitted to the district council in the near future.
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